The Creative’s Guide to success: feed your inspiration

The Creative’s Guide to success: feed your inspiration

“Where do you get your inspiration?!?”

 

If I had a penny for every time I was asked this, I would be a billionaire – no joke.

 

You don’t ‘get’ inspiration, Elizabeth Gilbert puts it in the best way EVER!

 

Feed your inspiration in 3 simple steps. Inspiration is simply a curated collection of ideas and connecting those ideas leads to inspiration.

 

We are bombarded by ideas every day (consider the amount of adverts we see each day – all trying to implant ideas into our mind). How do we feed our inspiration, gather and tap into it?
Let’s start with the big question; what is inspiration?

Feed your inspiration in 3 simple steps. Inspiration is simply a curated collection of ideas and connecting those ideas leads to inspiration.

 

Nothing complex – it’s an idea that leads to mental stimulation. Simples.

 

There is no mention of perfection, the one GENIUS idea that will allow you to create a Van Gogh. You don’t need to choose just one idea. Inspiration is simply a curated collection of ideas and connecting those ideas leads to inspiration. (FYI – Pinterest is great for this!)

 

So how do we use these ideas for creative success? 3 simple steps that will

 

Feed your inspiration

Feed your inspiration in 3 simple steps. Inspiration is simply a curated collection of ideas and connecting those ideas leads to inspiration.

 

Play

You need to learn what products do, what brush strokes give a specific effect.

 

Open your eyes

Everything you look at, everything you see. Take photos, my camera roll is a random collection of stuff from walking about alongside everyday life.

 

Make connections

Love the colour of those holly berries? Take a photo! See that sheep? How awesome would it be in felt? Jeans don’t fit? Great, I can make a bag (or canvas) and I’ve a zip… that can go on a large embroidery!

 

It really is that simple. And it gets better – the well of inspiration is not only infinite, the more you use it, the more you have!

Want more??

 

Check these out!

Grief – a Survival Guide

Grief – a Survival Guide

How to cope with grief a survival guide. There is no simple, cookie cutter approach to grief, but with a little help, the process can be easier.

Shock. Panic. Fear.

What the fuck just happened?

There’s a hole… They are gone. That sense of overwhelming loss.

What now?

I’ve suffered more bereavements than I care to admit (I’m 31 at the time of writing, in the last 10 years, I’ve lost 7 close family members). I know first hand how painful loss can be, I’ve experienced so many emotions, no 2 bereavements have been the same. I have reacted differently each time. Over the years, I have become a little blasé about death, reflected on my experiences and learnt a huge amount. I’ve observed family and friends reactions, experienced them first hand in some cases, suffered for it.

Here it is…

Grief; a survival guide

Get support

Professional or otherwise, friends, charity. Build a support network and USE IT! Whether you are dealing with that mountain of paperwork, your own emotions or just cooking a meal. This is essential. My ability to make and eat regular meals disappeared – the weight loss wasn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Oh, and housework too… It got pretty nasty before I accepted I needed help to A – actually clean and B – I needed to talk it out to get my mental state balanced. Adulting is hard!

Self Care

When was the last time you took a shower? Can’t be bothered? Don’t see the point? I’m right there with you hun, but basic self maintenance is essential. Wash your hair, brush your teeth. Eat some healthy food. Sounds too simple? There is no magic pill -sorry – basic self care helps, it’s lots of little things that create a change. From someone who learnt the hard way, these small things count for A LOT!

 

How to cope with grief a survival guide. There is no simple, cookie cutter approach to grief, but with a little help, the process can be easier.

Riding the rollercoaster

Emotions all over the place, crying, laughing, anger. It’s a rollercoaster – it’s normal. This is why that support network is essential. It will help you come to terms and work through those emotions. Know that you are not broken, it’s part of grief.

 

How to cope with grief a survival guide. There is no simple, cookie cutter approach to grief, but with a little help, the process can be easier.

What do you need

The most important question EVER! Do you need company? Do you need silence? Do you need food? What do you need. Unfortunately, we can’t bring your loved one back. But when someone asks if there is anything they can do to help – think about this question. Shopping for groceries? Cooking a meal? This question gives you the ability to ask for the right support at the right time.

 

How does that sound? There’s more if you want it! The Crisis Conquer Toolkit delves deep into helping you identify the support you need and accessing it. It’s designed to support the initial stages of grief, the overwhelm and the shock. To help you keep your head when the world is crumbling around you. Totally free, no sign up or email needed. Grab it now.

 Not there right now, that’s great! Even so, get the toolkit – it’s there for you when you need it.

 

 

How to cope with grief a survival guide. There is no simple, cookie cutter approach to grief, but with a little help, the process can be easier.
The Top 5 ways to unlock your Creative Genius! Set your soul alight!

The Top 5 ways to unlock your Creative Genius! Set your soul alight!

Top 5 ways to unlock your Creative Genius.

You’re no creative genius. In fact, you are probably thinking “I’ve not a creative bone in my body!!!”

 

You’re WRONG! 

Top 5 ways to unlock your Creative Genius. Not sure where to start or how to get inspired? Check out the top 5 ways to get inspired and get creative.

Creativity is subjective – I could sit and give you a lecture, get my soapbox out and rant until I run out of coffee. I’m not going to.

Short version – Find the creative outlet that works for you. Can’t draw? Try crochet! No good with colour mixing? Get onto Design Seeds (or You-Tube, or Pinterest – it’s not like you aren’t there already – be honest!)

Top 5 ways to unlock your Creative Genius. Not sure where to start or how to get inspired? Check out the top 5 ways to get inspired and get creative.

Still struggling? Read on, I’ve got your back.

Pinterest

The world’s #1 visual search engine. Stop trying to figure out what to google – go browse Pinterest, pin what you like and check out how it was done. You not only have an immediate inspiration encyclopedia but a butt-load of FREE tutorials!

 

Creative Viagra Quiz

Forgive me my shameless self promo. I designed this quiz to give you a place to get going. It takes a few moments and gives you EPIC resources to get started. If you don’t know where to start you need to give this puppy a whirl!

Top 5 ways to unlock your Creative Genius. Not sure where to start or how to get inspired? Check out the top 5 ways to get inspired and get creative.

Colouring Books

It’s all ready done for you, all those lines just need colour and let’s face it, every newsagents in the country carries ‘adult’ colouring books (*psst* I’ll let you in on a secret –  I have ALWAYS had a kid’s crayola colouring book for days when I can’t be arsed, too stressed etc NEVER too old). It’s a great way to tap into creativity while being a ‘clean’ craft. Also, we seem to be less precious and perfectionist, never a bad thing!

Take a class

Pop down to the local collage/library/community centre, KEEP AN OPEN MIND! Every term there are introductory/taster classes, one might take your fancy. I’ve done clay, watercolour, embroidery, computer design and card making this way and they influence my work in many ways.

Hold a Crafternoon with some friends

Invite a group round, bring a ‘craft’ each. Share some skills, have a brew and a catch up – see what inspires other people!

I’ve been on this journey for over 30 years, and I keep trying new things, new ideas. As products become more accessible to us mere mortals, it becomes easier to explore more. That said, I know EXACTLY what sets my soul alight; it’s TEXTURE, fabric, paint etc. It’s all about the texture! I cannot describe the joy I get building up materials and using objects to create texture.

 

KEEP TRYING NEW THINGS! Some will just piss you off, that’s okay (like me and crochet!) Move onto something else. You’ll find out what you enjoy, what you hate and the thing that SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE!

P.S

Check out my Creative Viagra Quiz. There’s no sign-up and it’s packed with resources!

Why aren’t we talking about grief?

Why aren’t we talking about grief?

Why aren't we talking about grief? Let’s end this ‘behind closed doors’ bullshit. Rather than running away, let's start talking about it.

“I remember when Dad took me to…” And the tears well up. I want to keep talking, but they’d look embarrassed and start trying to steer the conversation away.

“He wouldn’t want you to be sad…” In my mind, I’m screaming “GO FUCK YOURSELF! He’d want me to cry when I need to, to remember happy memories.”

“They are in a better place.” That doesn’t mean I miss them any less.

When my maternal Grandfather died, I was 11. I wanted to talk. No-one else did. I was ‘too young to understand’.

My Father passed away when I was 22. I wanted to talk. No-one else did. The conversation was steered away. So I went to see a counsellor – who was less use than a chocolate fireguard.

My grief was a weakness to be ashamed of. The thing is, I wasn’t ashamed. I hurt, I ached but never was I ashamed.

My paternal Grandmother was a practical woman “We all die – no-one is exempt.” This means, we all experience grief. We all hurt, we ALL lose at some point. So why aren’t we in this together? Why hide your sorrow and pain like the drunken uncle who is just plain inappropriate?!?

We are much better at talking about mental health…

Why aren’t we talking about grief?

 

Why aren't we talking about grief? Let’s end this ‘behind closed doors’ bullshit. Rather than running away, let's start talking about it.

My paternal Grandfather died. Again, I wanted to talk. Not with some shrink who didn’t give a fuck about me, I wanted to talk to friends, people I trusted. No-one else did.

My paternal Grandmother left this world at the age of 96. Guess what… Yup, you got it.

But when I spoke to people about my Mormor (maternal grandmother – she was Danish) and her descent into Alzheimer’s, people were comfortable talking about the pain and loss.

Seriously, What the actual fuck. Losing her to alzheimer’s was simply a long, drawn out process of grief over 15 years. It HURT – it was just as painful as losing my grandfather over the course of a week to a stroke. Physically, she was there but she hadn’t recognised me since 2002. The person I loved didn’t know me from the nurses looking after her. But people would talk about it. It was a more accepted subject.

Over the years, I’ve had time, time to consider, reminisce, sob, understand and reflect. The thing is, grief is unique to each and every one of us. And every time we experience it, it’s different. The emotions, the instability, all of it.

 

Why aren't we talking about grief? Let’s end this ‘behind closed doors’ bullshit. Rather than running away, let's start talking about it.

 

But I still don’t grasp fully why we don’t talk about it – it happens to us all right?

I can only speak from experience, I like to talk things out with people I trust. But not everyone does. Some people become angry, others flood in tears and don’t want to speak. That’s ok, it’s different for everyone. But surely the best form of support is what that person needs?

Feeling uncomfortable? Good. Think about why that is.

So why aren’t we talking about grief?

We all know that bottling up emotions isn’t good. By refusing to enter a dialogue involving grief, you’re failing to look at you own emotions, the feelings that come up for you.

Why aren’t we talking about grief? Because we a scared. Let’s end this ‘behind closed doors’ bullshit. Grief hurts – shit bust. But we can be better prepared for our own by supporting our friends who need to talk, to be left alone, to scream and rant, to sob uncontrollably. Don’t shy away from it – embrace it – because one day, you will be there too.

 

Need some support? If you’ve suffered a loss or bereavement it can be difficult to know what you need or how to reach out. I’ve created the Crisis Conquer Toolkit especially for you. It’s designed to support the initial stages of grief, the overwhelm and the shock. To help you keep your head when the world is crumbling around you. Totally free, no sign up or email needed. Grab it now.

Not there right now, that’s awesome! Even so, get the toolkit – it’s there for you when you need it.

A Complete Beginners Guide to Harnessing your Creative Genius

A Complete Beginners Guide to Harnessing your Creative Genius

Pushed for time?

Add this sucka to Pinterest and read it later!

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^^^

Pushed for time?

Add this sucka to Pinterest and read it later!

^^^

Creativity is the key to unlock happiness, even if you can’t draw a stick figure!

When we think about being creative, we think art, Picasso and Van Gough. We run away, remembering mean comments from the kids at school, or even the adults telling you ‘don’t make a mess’

NEWSFLASH!

 

Creativity isn’t limited to drawing realistic portraits or an expressive painting of sunflowers.

There are a couple of keys, and you already have them.

“But I’m not creative”

Everytime I hear this I have the same reaction

*FACEPALM*

 

YOU WERE FUCKING WELL BORN CREATIVE!

Ranting aside, it’s true. The trick is finding the creative outlet for you and going for it.

You may see something on Pinterest or Instagram and think “I need to try that”. Or perhaps you are at the other end of the spectrum – I like to call it ‘Can’t Create, Won’t Create’. Where fear paralyses you. Where you don’t know where to or how to start. Maybe you suffer from comparisonitis, “it doesn’t look like XXX, I’m rubbish, I can’t do this”.

#TRUTHBOMB You can create beautiful artwork that sets your soul alight.

 

HOW?!?

I can hear the frustration in your voice and that’s why I’m writing this post. This isn’t a step by step to make a specific project, nor is it a ‘get on with it’ pep talk. This is a ‘how to’ structure that will give you results and show you HOW to move from ‘Can’t Art, Won’t Art’ to confident creative without the need for therapy or repetitive drawing.

What’s more, I’ve hunted high and low to give you the BEST resources on the interwebs to work through those stumbling blocks and accelerate your creativity!

Enough babbling, let’s get to the juicy bit… INTRODUCING

The 5 P’s – taking you from Can’t Create, Won’t Create to Creative Genius.

A Complete Beginners Guide to Harnessing your Creative Genius

Chapter 1 – Perfectionism

Chapter 2 – Procrastination

Chapter 3 – Permission

Chapter 4 – Practise

Chapter 5 – Play

Beginners Guide to Harnessing your Creative Genius using the 5 P's formula - taking you from Can’t Create, Won’t Create to Creative Genius.

PERFECTIONISM

First of all, meet the ENEMY of creativity. This is the fear that holds you back. The unspoken, ingrained belief that anything less than perfect is not good enough, unworthy and somehow less.

That focus on the end product not only frightens us, it decreases our ablity to accept what is and enjoy the present moment. It can rule our life, not just our creativity.

Step One

Face your perfectionism!

Seems a little early? This is the BIGGEST reason people fail, quit or stay small. This is what stops you from even starting – the fear we will not live up to the perfect expectation we have. In order to move forward, we need to address this first, not later on – or you are going nowhere – and we want to create, not sit and cower!

PROCRASTINATION

Oh! Procrastination! That brick wall topped with razor wire and it’s just way too much fucking effort… So how do you bin that remote and beat the urge to have a netflix binge?

Step 2

Find the root of your procrastination… Then take a sledgehammer to that sucka!

For me, it is all about how I prioritise things. I used to feel that I couldn’t create if there was still housework, I felt guilty for indulging while there was still work to do.

The thing is, I can ALWAYS find some sort of housework to do, there is washing EVERY DAY. Now, after 7pm, I am banned from housework. Self care and creativity are paramount.

The change took time, I set alarms, looked at necessity – does it HAVE to be done right now (today). Does it HAVE to be done by me – my husband soon started pulling his weight, while his cleaning isn’t perfect (it’s pretty slapdash) it will do for a few weeks, then I do a deep clean. It frees up about 3 hours each week for me and allows me to dedicate that time to paint and glue!

PERMISSION

Remember when you had to ask permission?

What about the feeling of validation – being told you were a ‘good girl’ (or boy or hamster as the case may be… We are trained from an early age to crave validation, taught to gain permission.

As a result, when we become adults, we still seek these feelings and the positive emotions we were taught to associate with permission. Guess what – it’s now YOU that GIVES permission.

STEP 3

Seek your own permission and SAY YES! If you’re struggling, grab yourself a permission slip, fill it in, and put it somewhere you can see. Anytime you are struggling or feel guilty – GO LOOK AT THAT SUCKA AND PAY ATTENTIONno-one else can give you permission, only you. Stop looking for an adultier adult.

PRACTISE

I heard that sigh – stay with me. I loath the old saying “practise makes perfect”, it counjours up images of doldrum and repetition of algebra in maths class. Even so, it has a firm place in this process.

Step 4

Despite my dislike of practise, repetition is key – I’m not talking abut repetition of the same thing over and over. I refer to making space for creativity, repeating this regularly.

Drawing, photography, painting, it doesn’t matter what your media is – keep taking those photos, but switch up the topic/subject. Plants one day, the cat the next. This will not only keep your interest, but also allow you to practise which embeds knowledge. Two birds, one stone!

PLAY

Let’s regain some sense, have you watched the kids play with wild abandon, creating for the joy of creation, not the end product? This is SUPER IMPORTANT.

Step 5

IT’S PLAYTIME!

This will fuel your creativity, replenish the well AND it’s an EPIC method of self care. No stress, no worries, just playing with paint and glue. Or crayons… Whatever takes your fancy!

These guys share the same philosophy; go check them out and enjoy playtime without limits.

ROUND-UP

In conclusion, unlocking your inner creative is pretty simple.

  1. Perfectionism
  2. Procrastination
  3. Permission
  4. Practise
  5. Play

There is not one type of creativity that is less than another. In addition, you praise you children/nieces/nephews for those messy handprints in muddy colours – treat yourself with the same respect – so stop expecting yourself to create a Van Gough the second you pick up that brush!

Not sure what type of creativity will suit you? This quick quiz will get you on the way:

Find your Creative Viagra!

Most of all, cut yourself some slack. Creativity is about enjoyment, not pressure. My final words; Unlock that creativity. Go on, what are you waiting for??

Add this sucka to Pinterest and read it again!

 

>>>———–>

Beginners Guide to Harnessing your Creative Genius using the 5 P's formula - taking you from Can’t Create, Won’t Create to Creative Genius.
Beginners Guide to Harnessing your Creative Genius using the 5 P's formula - taking you from Can’t Create, Won’t Create to Creative Genius.

 ^^^

Add this sucka to Pinterest and read it again!

 

It feels like only yesterday

It feels like only yesterday

Dealing with grief is hard, years go by and it feels like only yesterday. It's easy to block happiness and live in the past, together we can look forward.

March is a challenging month for our family, we have reasons to celebrate and reasons to mourn. Sometimes on the same day.

It’s been 9 years since my father passed away, 5 since my maternal grandma left us and 12 months since my uncle died.

 

But it feels like only yesterday.

 

Life goes on and it moves fast. If you are waiting for the perfect time to do that class you always wanted or can’t take that holiday until the kids go to university, STOP BLOCKING YOURSELF! Find someone to look after the kids for a week, get down to the local College and check out their evening classes. Don’t wait. One of my father’s favourite sayings was “you might get hit by a bus tomorrow!” AKA don’t waste life wishing, don’t die regretting the things you didn’t do. Go out and live those dreams.

Dealing with grief is hard, years go by and it feels like only yesterday. It's easy to block happiness and live in the past, together we can look forward.

Walking towards awesome!

Walking towards awesome!

Walking towards awesome. But that means change for most of us, something different from the status quo you're used to. Does that sound scary?

Walking towards awesome. Sounds great huh?

But that means change for most of us, something different from the status quo you’re used to. Does that sound scary? I’m with you there. I don’t much like change, however, reframing things seems to work for me. So change becomes walking towards. Sounds more relaxed, less intimidating and far more rewarding, no?

 

When I feel triggered, I’ve taken to reframing things. This includes: ‘My job is boring’ has become ‘My job is easy’, ‘I need to do the washing’ has become ‘I enjoy soft, clean clothes’, you get the idea. It sounds so simple, and it is, but this simple change over time ha made me feel more positive, helped me embrace change, get motivated to Spring Clean the house (10+ years of junk) and begin the next phase of Inky Paws Art (more details at some other time).

It has changed things for me far more than I realised and it was FUN! Trying to think of a positive spin for a boring job was pretty challenging and I’m no fan of housework at the best of times! A challenge to spin a situation helped me focus, it was fun, not taxing and something I could do at ANY time. On the daily commute, while changing he bedding and beyond. It’s all in my mind.

So let’s start walking towards awesome, head high and ready to rock!

 

 

Walking towards awesome. But that means change for most of us, something different from the status quo you're used to. Does that sound scary?

5 steps to Creative Awesome

Let it be…

Change your life, change your priorities

Change your life, change your priorities

Change your life, change your priorities. If you think change is difficult or complex, I've got some news for you. It's remarkably easy... if you allow it.

Change your life, change your priorities.

 

Could it really be that simple? I used to be convinced change was difficult, too complicated with little reward. It was prioritising that changed my life. How? I started journalling. I have NEVER kept a diary and until 8 months ago, I activly resisted journalling in all it’s guises. While it is a story for another day, there were two main questions that drove my change.

What are my highest priorities?
Why?

 

Simple, right? They were challenging questions – being open and honest with yourself can be difficult and sometimes painful. However, the perseverance has been worth it, it has allowed me to work through pain, self doubt and really reflect on my life, goals and dreams.

Change your life, change your priorities. If you think change is difficult or complex, I've got some news for you. It's remarkably easy... if you allow it.

Need a longer Pause?

 

What’s the worst that could happen?

You’re never too old to reinvent yourself

5 steps to creative AWESOME

5 steps to creative AWESOME

"Too scared...", "what if I get it wrong?", "What if I ruin it?" Do these questions haunt you? Let's get it moving, 5 steps to creative awesome.

I recently asked those of you on my mailing list what struggles you have in your creativity. (If you want in, pop your email in below the post or in the sidebar). “Too scared…”, “what if I get it wrong?”, “What if I ruin it?” This was a common theme, I sat and thought about these issues.

My cynical rather arsey side – the part that likes straight-talking-tough-love – responded

"Too scared...", "what if I get it wrong?", "What if I ruin it?" Do these questions haunt you? Let's get it moving, 5 steps to creative awesome.
That said, my less cynical introverted side TOTALLY GETS IT. Not from an artistic side, but from a professional side. I was terrified of advancing in my career, stepping out of my comfort zone, from a job I excel at to one with more responsibilities. I really can relate to these feelings, career-wise, I’m still there. I’m working on it – I’m determined to move on up and get out of my comfort zone.

With that in mind – I want to help you to get brave and create.

 

Introducing…

 

"Too scared...", "what if I get it wrong?", "What if I ruin it?" Do these questions haunt you? Let's get it moving, 5 steps to creative awesome.

 

 

Yup, 5 steps to creative awesome.

 

Let’s dive in.

 

 

1. Nothing holds you back more than your insecurities

Face your fear

Too scared? Not good enough? Can’t draw? No one is perfect, every single creative person has to work at it. Work through your fears. NOW. If you are wondering how, check out my Creative Enhancement Masterclass – it’s totally FREE!

2. Stop Making Excuses

Get out of your way. I don’t have time, I’m too tired, no space… Sound familiar? When you say things like this, it is an excuse, yes, TOUGH LOVE! If you want to crate, you need to prioritse it… Like the washing up, just more fun. Recognise these saying for what they are. EXCUSES. Pop it in your diary have a weekly creative night, or colour and coffee time. Schedule it in and COMMIT!

 

"Too scared...", "what if I get it wrong?", "What if I ruin it?" Do these questions haunt you? Let's get it moving, 5 steps to creative awesome.

 

3. Let go of the finished product

Don’t allow your expectations to dictate your success We tend to focus on the finished piece. STOP IT! Enjoy the process of creating, liberate yourself. My Inspiration Strikes are very much focused on the process rather than a finished piece.

4. Cultivate a daily creative practice

Find a creative practice you can do each day It doesn’t have to be big. Colouring books and sheets are great for this. You could use a small sketch book, make some bunting. The key; it needs to be small and easy to walk away from. This will allow you to work out ideas and fears before making your project. I’ve got a selection for you if you fancy – keep reading and you’ll see how to grab them.

5. It is your choice.

No-one is going to force you. It is your choice. If you want to create, you HAVE to start. You have the control and it is your choice.

Where to start? How about colouring. It’s simple and quick not messy (unless you choose to make it so). I’ve created several awesome sheets that you can have for free. Get even more when you sign up to our e-mail list!

Be open to awesome

Be open to awesome

Think your past defines your future? Focusing on your past steals your future. Be open to awesome, to things being even more amazing than you imagine.

Today, I plan to leave the worry behind. To be more open. Rather than worrying about what could go wrong, I am open to the possibility to things being even more awesome, more magical than I ever dreamed.

Anxiety and worry are thieves, thieves of the present and future. Life is short.

 

Be open to awesome.

Think your past defines your future? Focusing on your past steals your future. Be open to awesome, to things being even more amazing than you imagine.

 

Need some more help being open to awesome?

 

 

Get inspired every week!

 

With our free, weekly Inspiration Strikes including tips, classes and creativity direct to your inbox

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